Working from home and still getting shit done
Working from home sounds like living the dream, right? No commute, no office politics, all your home comforts to hand. How do successful people work from home and still get shit done? We found out.
Stick to a work routine
The most successful home workers keep a strict work routine, whether they have a 9am conference call or not. Set an alarm, shower and dress, eat breakfast or have a coffee as normal, and be at your home office desk by the time your office-bound colleagues are at theirs.
Get dressed up
The cliche of home workers typing away in their dressing gown or gym kit is certainly one to avoid. You don't need to get suited and booted for a day working at home, but it will help your mindset, productivity, and self-confidence if you wear different clothes to your weekend attire.
Set aside a work area
Whether you are working from home once a week, or you're self-employed, you need a dedicated space for a home office. It doesn't need to be a separate room, but find an area for a desk, ergonomic chair and all the office furniture you need to get the job done. Don't use this area for anything else. At the end of the day, tidy your desk, and move to the rest of the house.
Top and tail your work day
Working from home isn't all it's cracked up to be. Work hours can easily seep into evenings and weekends, causing social life and family time to suffer. Don't get into the habit of checking work emails in the evening or working late into the night unless it's for a one-off deadline. Give your working days a structure just as you would if you were working in someone else's office. Top and tail your work day with an activity: walking the dog, calling a friend, making a coffee. This will help signal the boundary between work and home life.
Do the most important thing first
It can be easy to procrastinate when working from home, particularly if you're a freelancer, entrepreneur or sole trader. Make to-do lists at the end of every day for the following day. Then do the biggest, most important job first. That way, even if your day gets derailed by delayed client phone calls or unexpected problems, you'll have ticked the biggest job off your list.
Reach out for support
Working from home can be a solitary affair and can leave some people feeling isolated. If you're used to working in a team, and thrive off the buzz of a busy office, working from home (whether one day a week or all the time) might not be your cup of tea. There are plenty of support networks for home workers, from dedicated industry organisation and membership groups to social media. Pick up the phone and call a colleague, friend or family member if you feel the need to connect. Or jump online for some human contact. Just don't get lost in a wormhole of social media… remember your to-do list!